Marcos: EEZ agreement with Indonesia an example for resolving sea claims

Marcos: EEZ agreement with Indonesia an example for resolving sea claims
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with Indonesian President Joko Widodo during the former's state visit to Indonesia. Marcos Jr. visited Indonesia upon Widodo's invitation, with a trip lasting from September 4 to 6, 2022.
Facebook / Bongbong Marcos

MANILA, Philippines — President "Bongbong" Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sees bilateral agreements as a way for states with overlapping exclusive economic zones to settle claims peacefully.

In a press briefing before heading to Singapore on Tuesday, Marcos told reporters that he was interested in the delimitation talks between the Philippines and Indonesia as the two countries have overlapping EEZs across the Mindanao Sea and the Celebes Sea as well as in the southern part of the Philippine Sea in the Pacific Ocean.

"This is the template for delimitation talks for the continental shelf, which we are discussing right now not only for issues with Indonesia and the Philippines, but also for other countries that we need to do delimitation talks with," Marcos said in mixed English and Filipino. 

READ: Philippines-Indonesia boundary agreement takes effect

He also added that the Philippines and Indonesia’s delimitation agreement may be presented to the ASEAN "as an example that can be done." 

"Basta't nag-uusap kayo with the bilateral agreement," Marcos said. (As long as you are discussing within the context the bilateral agreement.)

Marcos Jr. also said that it is "worthwhile to explore" the possibility of creating a similar bilateral agreement with China in the context of the West Philippine Sea. This is despite analysts saying multilateral cooperation would be key to maritime dispute.

And despite a 2016 Hague ruling backing the Philippines’ right to its EEZ and invalidated Beijing’s nine-dash line, China has continued to ignore it. 

The Philippines has filed hundreds of diplomatic protests against China since 2016. 

The bilateral agreement, which outlines the Philippines’ boundary with Indonesia, was first discussed in 1994. A document was formally signed in 2014 and entered into force in August 2019

It is said to be the first maritime boundary treaty of the Philippines. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs in 2014 said the agreement would give stakeholders "a clear extent of the area where they can exercise the sovereign rights over the waters as provided for by national laws and treaties including the 1982 UNCLOS (United Convention on the Law of the Sea)." 

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